Evaluating a business plan at the end of the year is crucial.
Successful people not only write a business plan but they refer to it through the year. Reviewing it at the end of the year is crucial to see how to improve upon it next year, said Carla Cross, a national real estate trainer in Washington.
“Assessing the numbers to see what worked, what didn’t and where to go in the new year helps make a business successful,” she said.
A business plan is more than how many sales or listings a REALTOR® expects. The plan should outline the REALTOR’s® marketing plan. “Too many agents spend money without getting great results,” Cross said. “You’ll know what’s working if you review your plan and track your progress.”
Cross said a survey by Baylor University found that successful REALTORS® spent time and resources on building relationships. Cross incorporates this into her own business. During the holiday season, she sent poinsettias to her best clients and they responded with phone calls. “I wasn’t trying to get their business,” she said, “I wanted to retain and maintain my relationship with them.”
Having frequent and consistent communications with past clients helps build your business because those clients will refer their friends and family. “The less you know someone, the more frequently you should make contact,” she added. “The bigger the competition is in your market, the more important it is to make frequent connections.
“Many REALTORS® believe social media is the only answer,” Cross said. “Sometimes the Internet avoids building the relationship with the client but if they’re just pushing buttons on the computer, why do they need a REALTOR®? It’s the personal relationship we create that makes them want to do business with us again or refer us to their friends.”
After the sale, the work isn’t over. Sending a survey is an important way to connect with clients, Cross said. “A majority of REALTORS® don’t do that so they don’t know what their clients are thinking. You need to ask how you can improve your services and what you can do better next time. If you make a mistake but fix it fast, 98 percent of the clients will think you’re great. We need to pay attention to our clients and their needs.”